Ten-year-old Andries, newly orphaned, comes to join his bachelor uncle, Pieter Verbeek, in a large, but silent and unhappy house. Across the way sits a cottage, overflowing with the lively Dykstra family. While Father Dykstra works as a wooden-shoe maker, Mother Dykstra oversees the household of four children, practical Helga, dreamy Miebeth, irrepressible Kobus, and baby Treeske. The newly arrived boy rouses the older girls’ curiosity, but Mr Verbeek’s large dog is a strong deterrent to friendly advances. When Andries vents his loneliness in mischief, the cook, and soon the whole village, is scandalized. Then, through the antics of the very dog that frightens the girls, Andries begins to make the acquaintance of the warm-hearted Dykstras. Adventures unfold as Andries’ energetic and creative bent finds new inspirations. Hilda van Stockum is at her best and most humorous in the dialogues which emerge from friendship and family’s many viewpoints.